Federal Judge Orders Georgia to Review Thousands of Provisional Ballots

The ruling found “substantial likelihood” that Brian Kemp failed to maintain a “reliable and secure” registration system.

A federal judge on Monday ordered officials in Georgia to review thousands of provisional ballots that have not been counted, citing the “substantial likelihood” that Republican candidate Brian Kemp, who until last week was Georgia’s Secretary of State and therefore oversaw election rules in the state, had failed to “properly maintain a reliable and secure voter registration system.”

Judge Amy Totenberg’s ruling delays Georgia from certifying its election results until Friday. It also called for the Secretary of State’s office to immediately establish a voter registration hotline to assist voters in determining whether their provisional ballots were accounted for.

Listen to MoJo’s voting rights reporter Ari Berman explain what’s next in Georgia’s nail-biting race for Governor, on this week’s episode of the Mother Jones Podcast:

The development comes as a major victory for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who needs at least 20,000 more votes to force a runoff against Kemp. It’s estimated that nearly 27,000 provisional ballots were cast in the razor-thin election for governor. The lawsuit was filed by Common Cause Georgia, a non-partisan group that works to ensure fair voting practices. 

“Today’s ruling is a victory for the voters of Georgia. We are all stronger when every eligible voter is allowed to participate in our elections,” Sara Henderson, executive director of Common Cause Georgia, said in a statement. “This victory helps achieve greater voter confidence in our elections.”

You can read Totenberg’s ruling in full below:

THANK YOU.

We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.